Family Management Conference: The first court appearance no matter what registry you go to is now called a Family Management Conference. It will not be scheduled until you have completed the required early resolution steps, if any. It is essentially a meeting with you, the other party and a judge but you can have a lawyer present as well. FMCs are held in open court (or an open conference room) which means other people can watch. The purpose of the family management conference is to see what issues can and cannot be resolved without going to a full hearing and to make sure the case moves forward smoothly. You can have a lawyer or support person present if you want.
At the FMC, the judge can make:
All these orders can have a major impact on your case so it is important to be prepared.
The meeting should take between 30 and 60 minutes. If there are still issues that need to be resolved at the end of the family management conference, the judge will direct the next steps in the case which could involve a mediation, another conference, or trial date. To learn more read Family management conferences in Provincial Court and What can I expect at a Family Management Conference?
Once you have confirmed you have fulfilled any early resolution requirements, the registry will send you instructions on how to sign up for an FMC. If a party does not file a reply or fails to attend, the FMC will go on without them and the judge can still make interim orders which both parties will have to follow. The party that did not attend can apply later to have those orders changed if they don’t agree with them.
What to expect:
Strategy for a FMC:
|To prepare before you attend a FCC, be sure to fill out the Family Case Conference Worksheet.|